This Vegan Meatball Soup with Pasta & Kale is a hearty and satisfying dinner recipe. Simmered in a flavorful pesto broth.
Back again this week with another soup recipe. It is October after all. We need all the soup we can get. Am I right? Today's soup is a hearty one. Vegan meatballs and pasta bulk this up and make it a great dinner recipe. The kale rounds everything out with a pop of green. The perfect Sunday dinner - simmer it on the stove all day and eat the leftovers for lunch over the week.
How to make vegan meatballs
These vegan meatballs are so freaking good. I made them with the Beyond Sausage (Hot Italian flavor). They seriously taste like the real deal and will definitely fool any meat eater.
We are making these meatballs the traditional way, with a little bit of a vegan twist. Start by adding the vegan sausage to a bowl and giving it a good smash. Add in the bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, pesto, salt, pepper and aquafaba.
If you're not familiar with aquafaba it is just the canning liquid from a can of chickpeas. It is going to act as the binding for the meatballs. You could also swap it for a flax egg, but I find aquafaba to work better.
Roll the balls into 1 inch balls and place them on a plate - you should be able to make about 20 balls.
To cook them, heat some olive oil in a stock pot. Work in batches, until all of the meatballs are browned on all sides. Remove them from the pan and get to working on the rest of the soup.
How to finish the Vegan Meatball Soup with Pasta & Kale
Now that the meatballs are done, add onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to the pot and cook it down for a couple of minutes. Things should start to smell really good now.
Add in the broth, pesto and crushed tomatoes and bring everything to a boil. Gently place the meatballs back in the broth, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Pour the pasta into the broth and give everything a stir. Once the pasta is just about cooked through, add in the kale and cook it down for a couple of minutes.
How much broth to add and leftovers
At this point you have a couple of options. You can leave the soup on the thicker side (since the pasta will absorb some of the broth) OR you can add another cup of broth to thin things out.
Serve the soup piping hot with some fresh basil on top. Note that the pasta will continue to absorb the broth as the soup sits, so you may need to add more broth or water to the leftovers. You can also cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl of soup.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Vegan Meatball Soup with Pasta & Kale
FOR THE VEGAN MEATBALLS
- 16 ounces vegan sausage or ground beef I used Beyond Sausages
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba*
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- salt & pepper
FOR THE SOUP
- 4 tablespoons olive oil separated
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 5-6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon pesto
- 1.5 cups short pasta dry
- 1 cup kale torn in bite-sized pieces
- fresh basil for serving
- Combine the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork to combine. Roll the mixture into balls and place on a plate - I was able to make 20.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot followed by the onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt & pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, being sure to scrape down the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the broth, tomatoes & pesto and bring it to a boil. Carefully add the meatballs back to the broth, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the dry pasta to the pot and cook until al dente - about 10 minutes. Lastly, add the kale and cook for a couple more minutes.**
- Taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot with fresh basil.
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